Oct. 23, 2001
Upcoming: The Wildcats come home for a pivotal two match conference set against third-ranked USC and sixth-ranked UCLA. Arizona will face the Women of Troy on Thursday night in a match that will be shown tape-delay on Fox Sports Net (FSN-Arizona will replay it at 2 p.m. on Saturday), and the Bruins on Friday. Both matches are set for a 7 p.m. first serve.
The Opposition: USC- One of the hottest teams in the country, third-ranked USC is the only remaining undefeated team left in Pac-10 play. Standing atop the Pac-10 standings, Southern California has won 13 straight matches, with its lone defeat coming in the second match of the season to Wisconsin. The Women of Troy downed Pepperdine and UCLA last week, both top 25 teams. USC defeated Arizona, 3-0, earlier this season in the Lyon Center in Los Angeles. The Women of Troy hit an outstanding .450 in the match, committing only 12 errors on 109 attempts. Jill Talbot played well for Arizona in the loss, tallying 14 kills on .522 hitting. With the victory, USC improved its all-time record against Arizona to 37-12. Arizona defeated USC 3-0 last season in McKale en route to splitting the conference title. UCLA- The Bruins return to Tucson on the heals of a five game loss to USC. It is the second time this season that Arizona will face UCLA having lost its most recent match. In the previous meeting this season, a 3-0 sweep by the Bruins, Arizona hurt itself with 15 attack errors, 10 reception errors and six errors from the service line. UCLA's Kristee Porter racked up 20 kills on .368 hitting in the win, while Talbot had an error free night (9-0-14, .643) for Arizona in the loss. The victory pushed UCLA's all-time record against Arizona to 42-9-1. The 2000 meeting between the Cats and Bruins in McKale found UCLA victorious, 3-2.
The Polls: Once again, the Arizona volleyball team held steady at seventh in the latest edition of the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll. The Volleyball Magazine poll also held firm, placing the Wildcats ninth. Arizona started 2001 sixth in the preseason AVCA poll and crept up as high as third, but after dropping three of four matches in September, fell back to the current no. 7 spot. A place they have held for four consecutive weeks. See page six of the notes for the complete polls.
Arizona's Last Action: The Wildcats took to the road and scored a sweep over the Oregon schools. Arizona played very soundly against Oregon on Friday. UA posted 50 kills on 81 swings, hitting .420 for the match while limiting the Ducks to a .125 attack percentage. Lisa Rutledge and Shannon Torregrosa both posted double digit kills for Arizona and Jill Talbot added nine more on .615 hitting. A night later, the Cats took down Oregon State 3-0. UA was again in control, collecting 25 more kills than the Beavers while holding OSU to a paltry .083 attack percentage. Talbot posted her fifth double-double of the season and Rutledge and Torregrosa tallied 11 and 12 kills, respectively.
Home Sweet Home: The Arizona volleyball team has always found McKale Center a nice to place to call home, but never more so than now. After finishing 9-7 at home in 1999, the Cats have since gone 21-1 (.955). A year ago Arizona lost only a single match on its home floor en route to a 14-1 record and are a perfect 7-0 this season. UA currently has a 16-match winning streak at home that started with a 3-0 sweep over fourth-ranked USC in 2000. Arizona owns a 168-88 (.656) record in McKale since it first started playing in the building in 1983 and have gone 98-36 (.731) in nine-plus seasons under Coach Rubio.
Three Cheers For Dana: Senior setter Dana Burkholder tied a school record for triple-doubles with a 10 kill, 68 assist, 14 dig effort against Washington (10/13). Burkholder has now tallied four trifectas in her career, equaling the school mark of current associate head coach Charita Johnson. The good news is that two of Burkholder's triple-doubles have come against upcoming opponent UCLA. The bad news is both were five game losses to the Bruins. Johnson and Burkholder have a combined eight of Arizona's 21 triple-doubles in school history.
Johnson and Burkholder's Career Triple-Doubles
1. vs. California 10/10/1992 11 kills, 11 digs, 12 blocks
2. at Cal St. Northridge 11/21/1992 15 kills, 10 digs, 10 blocks
3. at Oregon State 09/16/1994 13 kills, 13 digs, 12 blocks
4. at BYU 12/03/1994 12 kills, 17 digs, 12 blocks
1. vs. UCLA 10/22/1999 11 kills, 70 assists, 14 digs
2. vs. San Diego 09/02, 2000 10 kills, 54 assists, 10 digs
3. vs. UCLA 10/12/2000 15 kills, 67 assists, 22 digs
4. vs. Washington 10/13/2001 10 Kills, 68 assists, 14 digs
Diggin' Up the Record Book: Setter Dana Burkholder, already Arizona's career leader in assists, topped 1,000 career digs in the fifth game against Washington. Upon reaching the milestone, Burkholder became just the fifth Arizona player to record over 1,000 digs in a career and just the second player ever to have over 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists. Lindsey Hahn, who played for UA from 1986-89, recorded a final career total of 1,155 digs (second all time) and 1,939 assists (sixth all time). Currently, Burkholder is fifth on Arizona's career list for digs with 1,015. See page five of the notes to see where Dana and other Wildcat players rank in the career record books.
Coaching Milestones: Arizona head coach David Rubio has doubled up on coaching milestones this season. First he won his 300th career match as a coach against Arizona State (10/5) and most recently added his 100th career Pac-10 coaching win in Eugene vs. Oregon (10/19).
With the victory over the Sun Devils, Rubio joined a long list of active Pac-10 coaches with 300 or more career victories.
Active Pac-10 Coaches with 300+ Career Wins*
1. Andy Banakowski, UCLA 908 (NCAA All Time Leader)
2. Mick Haley, USC 536
3. John Dunning, Stanford 453
4. Rich Feller, California 331
5. Cindy Fredrick, Washington St. 324
6. David Rubio, Arizona 304
* Win totals through Oct. 20.
And the win over the Ducks made Rubio just the sixth Pac-10 women's coach ever to reach 100 or more conference victories.
Pac-10 Coaches With 100+ Conference Wins
Andy Banakowski, UCLA *
Cindy Fredrick, WSU *
Lisa Love, USC
David Rubio, Arizona *
Don Shaw, Stanford
Patti Snyder, ASU *
* Active (Don Shaw is now the coach of the Stanford men's team)
Rutledge Rising: Throughout her career at Arizona, Lisa Rutledge has always racked up a large number of kills for the Wildcats. In fact, the junior needs only 120 more to become the 12th Arizona player to tally 1,000 in a career. While the number of kills are still there for her this season, she definitely is a different player. Her accuracy and shot selection in 2001 have allowed her to increase her career hitting percentage by an amazing 17 points. She started the season seventh on the Arizona career list with a .249 attack percentage and since improved to sixth on the list and .266 for her career. Rutledge is hitting .316 this season and averaging 4.46 kills per game, third best in the Pac-10.
Tidy Talbot: Senior Jill Talbot is not a player that misses her mark very often. In fact, she has only 36 errors on 305 swings for a conference leading .459 hitting percentage this season. The right side player is averaging 11 kills, 19 attempts and only two errors per match. She leads Arizona with 163 digs, an average of 2.96 per game - sixth best in the conference thus far, and has recorded a team-high five double-doubles this season.
Puttin' em In The Stands: For the second straight season Arizona leads the conference in average attendance. Without having played Pac-10 favorites UCLA, USC or Stanford at home, the Wildcats currently rank 12th nationally with an average crowd of 1,794 fans. In seven home dates this year, the Wildcats have attracted 12,561 followers. With six home dates remaining on the schedule (excluding possible NCAA Tournament matches), and using the current average, the Wildcats are projected to have 23,325 fans at their home matches this season.
Outlook for 2001: The Wildcats return four starters from last seasons's team. All-American setter Dana Burkholder, right-side hitter Jill Talbot, outside hitter Lisa Rutledge and defensive specialist Rachel Williams all return to the floor for the Cats in 2001. Joining them in the starting rotation will be middle blockers Erin Sebbas and Stefani Saragosa and outside hitter Shannon Torregrosa. The loss of NCAA hitting percentage leader and All-Pac-10 middle blocker Marisa DaLee is significant, but will be offset by the return of Saragosa, who played in 30 of Arizona's 33 matches last season with an ailing shoulder that has been surgically repaired, and the spring emergence of Sebbas. Coach Rubio is counting on Torregrosa to have a breakout season in the outside hitter spot vacated by the departure of All-Pac-10 performer Allison Napier. Others returning players that are expected to see extensive floor time are Christina Frost and setter/right side hitter Lauren Benward. Arizona has also added a number of newcomers that the coaching staff figure will see playing time, including setter Rochelle Ruen, right side hitter Kellie Burton and defensive specialist Kelli Mulvany.
Starting Lineup Possibilities
Setter - Dana Burkholder
Right Side- Jill Talbot
Outside - Lisa Rutledge / Shannon Torregrosa
Middle Blocker- Stefani Saragosa / Erin Sebbas
Defensive Specialist- Rachel Williams / Kelli Mulvany
A Look Back: The 2000 season was one of the finest in school history. The Wildcats finished the season 28-5, matching the school record for wins in a season. 20 of Arizona's 28 victories were 3-0 sweeps and of Arizona's five loses only one was in three game, two were in four games and two went all five. Arizona was an outstanding 14-1 in home matches, 11-2 on the road and 3-2 in neutral court contests. They advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, the deepest an Arizona team has ever gone. UA won its first Pac-10 title, sharing it with USC. 2000 marked the first time a team other than UCLA or Stanford had won the Pac-10 championship since conference play began in 1986. The 16-2 Pac-10 record shattered the school record for conference wins by four. Individually, returning setter Dana Burkholder became one of the most recognized athletes in school history. She was named both AVCA and Volleyball Magazine First-Team All-America (the first, first-team member since 1985), to the NCAA Central Region All-Tournament Team, the Pac-10 Player of the Year, First-Team All-Pac-10 and AVCA All-Pacific Region. She set numerous school records, including single-match (84), single-season (1,562) and career marks (4,068) for assists, while guiding the Arizona offense to a NCAA Division I leading .320 attack percentage, the best in school history and the second-best ever in the Pac-10. Departed seniors Marisa DaLee and Allison Napier, both 1,000 career kill members, each tallied First-Team All-Pac-10 honors. Giving the Cats three for the season, the most in any single year. DaLee led the nation in hitting percentage (.437) and was also named AVCA All-Pacific Region. Jill Talbot and Lisa Rutledge, who both return in 2001, each garnered Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors as well.
2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year David Rubio: In nine years as Arizona's head coach, David Rubio has taken the Cats from the abyss of a winless Pac-10 season to the pinnacle of a conference championship. Inheriting a team that did not win a single match in the conference the year before he arrived, he has turned the Wildcats into a club that has made seven postseason appearances in eight years, won a Pac-10 Championship and 11 NCAA Tournament matches. Rubio has recruited and coached two All-Americans, the 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year, 13 All-Pac-10 performers, six All-Pac-10 freshman players and eight academic all-conference athletes at Arizona. Also, UA athletes have earned 13 Pac-10 Player of the Week honors under his guide. During his tenure at Arizona, Rubio has led the Wildcats to 185 victories and a winning league mark over the last eight seasons. Last year's 16-2 Pac-10 record smashed the school mark for conference victories.
Rule Changes in 2001: Into play in 2001 is the faster paced "rally scoring". In a departure from the previous scoring format, a team may score a point whether it is the serving or receiving team, there are no longer "side-outs" in which the service receiving teams cannot score. Simply stated, every time the ball is put in play, each team will have an opportunity to score. Now, in order for a team to win a non-deciding game (the first four games of the match) it must be the first to reach 30 points and lead by at least two using rally scoring. In a match deciding game (the fifth game of the match) the first team to reach 15, again in rally scoring format (i.e. no side-outs), and lead by two or more points is the winner of that game and the match. Another change is that served balls that touch the net and continue on to the opponent's side will remain in play. Balls that strike the net and fall on the serving team's side or out of play will result in a point for the opposition. Previously, any ball that struck the net on a serve was ruled dead and resulted in a side-out.
New Statisitc: With implementation of the new rules comes a new stat. Players responsible for socring a point for their team are also credited with a point of their own. Points are a combination of kills+service aces+solo blocks+1/2 block assists. For example, Lisa Rutledge leads the team with 279.5 points. This is derived from her 241 kills + her 19 service aces + her 12 solo blocks + her 15 block assists (1/2 point each)= 279.5 points. Arizona's point totals are included in the stats on the final page of the release.